Neutral start rollout option for races

This is pretty self-explanatory and would make racing more even at the start without having to sprint balls out from the pen. Event managers could then choose to employ it or not for their races. Would make sense, especially where there is a lead-in to the start.

This would be nice but How would this work? How do you stop people from going full out at the start.

Zwift could add an impenetrable fence linked to a pacer bot that then disappears at the end of the neutral section. Zwift could also use the rubber band to keep the group together through the neutral section.

Ideally, Zwift could also build in a new feature to make it more realistic using something like an official lead bike that nobody is allowed to pass in the neutral section.

A lead bike sound like fun, but how do you stop people from going all out once the natural start is over. They will just ramp up the power and fly off once the “lead bike” disappear.

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Yep I think this has been been requested before. Lots of fun ways it could be done. The FRR races are all the better for the neutral rollout.

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Once speed is high it’s very different to going from 0.

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This will change racing a lot.

If Zwift can do this it can be used in group rides with a sprint at the end as well.

As a mountain biker I’m used to the “go all out at the start and hope you don’t blow up” style of starts but a robopacer tied to a fence that increases speed over a set distance/time would be pretty cool.

Could this be done by implementing Keep Together for the first however many kms?

I like the idea of using the fence. And if you go beyond the fence for too long in the neutral section you are just zapped from the event.

A leading car, station wagon with a guy standing through the sunroof and at the right point the flags wave and the car moves over.

Then people can pass it.

Even normal events could use this, they also have people going like mad right from the start irrespective of the w/kg limits and ride leaders desperately begging for people to stay together.

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The idea of a neutral start is great. Just like in pro racing, it provides an adequate warmup for everyone. Maybe Zwift can send signals to smart trainers to prevent exceeding a pre-determined power level while in the neutral zone.

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Racing on Zwift began with neutral starts. That was in the days before start pens or any other in-game tools. It was everybody meets up at a certain point on the course, like the start banner in Watopia, begins to ride together, and at a certain time/distance, the competition began. No means of enforcement, though.

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Zwift could also control the increase in power and speed to the desired level for the race as the neutral zone nears its end. Gradually ramp up and then let the pack go. Would be like the grand tour stages. Yea, someone will try to blast off of the front, but by then everyone will be up to speed.
I do like the ‘lead rider’ scenario. Have him look like Gandalf, You shall not pass!

Another thread got me thinking (which is always dangerous :-), what about group rides being setup that are actually described and run as races? Could CE be enabled for a group ride? The leader/organizer could employ a kicking fence to take the field up to eg. 30 km/h or thereabouts, and when the fence is dropped (turned off), the race (set up as a group ride) begins? If the organizer has enough leaders, they could have one in each Cat…
… just an idea.

You’d need to let people power up in case they were tardy in getting away from the start to get the group together then when pack is together the flag drops or the whistle goes. Then it’s start.

Some nice ideas here though.

I think you could achieve this with Fondo style events (one Category for all racers) and have ZP setup as a race and auto-cat people to cats (ZP that is, not CE).

Like your thinking @Wannie

That wouldn’t be too bad – though you don’t think CE is an available option in ride setup? Forgetting neutral starts, it hasn’t occurred to try hybrid ride-then-race events? – e.g. “we’ll ride the first 10km at comfortable X wkg pace, and the last 10km we’ll drop the fence and the race is on…”

Likewise, I don’t suppose races can have a ‘leader’ and therefore someone who could control a fence?